Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Back in print: Ehle, The Free Men, on the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill

The Free Men by John Ehle has just been republished by Press 53. A local history of the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the book will be of interest to anyone interested in civil rights history and the role of the grassroots movement. Here's the book description:

For a brief moment in 1963 and 1964, the university town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, became a central focal point in the Civil Rights movement. Through a mounting series of marches, sit-ins, and other nonviolent protests, a few brave young people protested the hypocrisy of their supposedly liberal town, where businesses claimed to be integrated but essentially ignored equal rights wherever they felt justified doing so. As the youth struggled to maintain nonviolence and press for human dignity, and as business owners demanded their own rights to serve who they chose, a conflict emerged that laid bare generational and class differences that many would have rather ignored. The struggles in Chapel Hill were indicative of the greater conflicts in the country at the time, but the outcomes were singular to the experience of this small university town.

In The Free Men, John Ehle presents an intensely emotional issue in astonishingly balanced prose. Out of print for four decades, it is now reprinted in order to shed light on an obscured portion of North Carolina’s, and America’s, history. The Free Men is a portrait of those men and women, both young and old, who were caught up in a struggle greater than any individual to achieve equal rights for all.

Hat tip to GreenSpace.

1 comment:

Tenured Radical said...

There's also a terrific book about women in the civil rights movement in Durham by Christina Greene. Excellent.